Engaging Dyslexics in Memorizing, Visualizing, and Rhyming

By Tracey Wood

Part of Overcoming Dyslexia For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Because dyslexia makes it hard to remember how words are put together, rhyming and visualization strategies — like turning letters into lively, more concrete characters — are great tools for jogging the memory and helping dyslexics remember word formation. To help your child master many words and fix them better in the mind, try these strategies:

  • Help your child with short-vowel sounds by having him draw images into the vowels while saying their short sounds. For example, he can create an apple out of a; draw an egg inside the top part of e; convert a pen with a blob of ink on top into i; change o into an octopus; and draw an arrowhead on each of the two top ends of u so it represents up.

  • Help your child read and spell words like late, hole, and cute by showing him the Bossy e rule: When e is on the end of a short word, it bosses the earlier vowel into saying its name (but stays silent itself).

  • Help your child read and spell long-vowel words like meet, neat, nail, and boat by teaching him this rule: “When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking (and says its name).”